Last night, the Israel Philharmonic shared its concert hall with the Broadway Musical “Hair Spray.”   The beautiful Teatro Municipale, our usual venue, is in renovations, the new arts center is still being built, and the only hall available, Teatro Oi Casa Grande, may be perfect for Broadway but it was terrible for Beethoven. 

Even with the IPO’s 90 musicians: the acoustics were un-bearably dry and balancing the orchestra was a problem. In addition to no room on the stage, there was no room back-stage to sit down, only one toilet for the men and one for the women. Zubin joined us lounging on the instrument trunks because he had no dressing room of his own!  Any space the bass boxes didn’t take up in the wings, the set from the musical “Hair Spray” did. In short, the “Teatro Oi Casa Grande” was not so “grande,” it was more “Oi-vey”.

Where we should have played

Where we should have played

the Oi Vey Theater

the Oi Vey Theater

 If you were on the side of the audience, the concert was great; two Beethoven Symphonies and the Overture from “The Marriage of Figaro”. 

 But, on the other hand, Rio is beautiful: the sea and the mountains; green and cool! 
We flew in from San Paulo hours before the Thursday concert and Friday is the first day off of the tour.  Orchestra members took advantage of the wonderful winter weather to view the city from the Corcovado and Mount Sugar Loaf, ride the trolley to St. Teresa, or bike around Copacabana and Ipanema.  It’s a short day off with 0800 departure for Ribeiro Preto (near San Paulo) tomorrow.
Brad on the St. Teresa trolley
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